Reviewing NFC South's top 25

July, 20, 2012
7/20/12
12:11
PM ET
We’ve finished unveiling my list of the NFC South’s top 25 players for 2012. Was anyone at all surprised that New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was No. 1?

That choice was obvious, but the rest were open for debate and I’m sure there are lots of varying opinions out there. That’s fine because debate is healthy and it’s the reason we have the comments section below. With that in mind, let’s quickly review my top 25 NFC South players (and keep in mind I left off notables, such as Jordan Gross, Tony Gonzalez and Ronde Barber, because they’re approaching the end of their careers and may not be what they once were.
  1. Brees
  2. Carl Nicks, guard, Tampa Bay
  3. Jimmy Graham, tight end, New Orleans
  4. Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina
  5. Darren Sproles, running back, New Orleans
  6. Ryan Kalil, center, Carolina
  7. Jahri Evans, guard, New Orleans
  8. Steve Smith, receiver, Carolina
  9. Matt Ryan, quarterback, Atlanta
  10. Jabari Greer, cornerback, New Orleans
  11. Julio Jones, receiver, Atlanta
  12. Brent Grimes, cornerback, Atlanta
  13. DeAngelo Williams, running back, Carolina
  14. Curtis Lofton, linebacker, New Orleans
  15. Sean Weatherspoon, linebacker, Atlanta
  16. Vincent Jackson, receiver, Tampa Bay
  17. Jonathan Stewart, running back, Carolina
  18. Charles Johnson, defensive end, Carolina
  19. Roddy White, receiver, Atlanta
  20. Malcolm Jenkins, safety, New Orleans
  21. Jon Beason, linebacker, Carolina
  22. Josh Freeman, quarterback, Tampa Bay
  23. Michael Turner, running back, Atlanta
  24. Adrian Clayborn, defensive end, Tampa Bay
  25. Marques Colston, receiver, New Orleans

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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